A Broken Bowl

by Patrick Friesen


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Shortlisted for the 1997 Governor General’s Award for Poetry

Set firmly at the end of the millennium, A Broken Bowl takes on the burden of history, with its heaped atrocities, its unimaginable sufferings. This long poem is an angry lament, a summoning of fragments, a meditation in the midst of an exhausted world. By turns lyric, satiric, elegiac and incantatory, A Broken Bowl is filled with passionate elemental writing in the tradition of Howl and Crow.

“Picture-building poetry doesn’t get better than this. Patrick Friesen communicates directly to your imagination. These fragments of a broken bowl are, indeed, much greater than the sum of their parts as they spur imaginal encounters not only with Friesen but with the scattered bits of the reader’s self – each piece a new gesture to try on.” – Per Brask

“These are the end days – someone’s got a kitchen knife and is ‘looking for the government’; the river is a ‘filthy transfusion.’ Patrick Friesen sings this dark song with beauty and a guttering love. We’re long past apology, reconstruction: there’s only Friesen’s voice not nearly enough, sure, but the only thing worthy of trust.” – Tim Lilburn

Second printing


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About the Author

Patrick Friesen is the author of Blasphemer’s Wheel, winner of the Manitoba Book of the Year Award and runner-up for the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award. A Broken Bowl was shortlisted for the 1997 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. His most recent work is Earth's Crude Gravities.  He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.  He has retired…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 0919626939
  • ISBN-13: 9780919626935
  • Pages: 134
  • Year: 1997
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.31 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Cover and interior photographs by Marijke Friesen and Pedro Mendes

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